It’s time to stop negotiating how you communicate.

One of the biggest time drains I have found in my day to day life is trying to manage all of the ways people choose to communicate with me. We are in a technology age. With that comes phones, voice mails, emails, texting, instant messaging, and social media on multiple platforms. And for those who really love technology there is more! Apps like Skype, Zoom, Voxer, WhatsApp and many more.

Between my personal, community and business commitments I am often a very busy woman. Trying to manage this many avenues of communication becomes overwhelming really quick. If I am not careful about setting some boundary lines that make it manageable.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and we don’t have to do them all. And taking charge is as easy as answering these few questions

What communication methods am I most comfortable with?

If texting, social media, or video conferencing aren’t your thing, don’t do them. This is your life and you do get to make the rules. Plus, those who truly value and respect you aren’t going to stress something as simple as how you wish to communicate.

How quickly do I want/need to respond?

Take some time to think about what is a reasonable response time. Let those you are working with in every aspect what to expect.

What and how many communication methods can I easily manage?

If an immediate response is needed, then you will want to limit the number of methods available and choose the one that you will be the most efficient at. If immediate response isn’t necessary, then take some time to determine what you can.

Am I going to use Social Media to connect with customers on a personal level?

Most social media outlets have a messenger that allows people to connect privately. This can be really helpful, but it can also make things more difficult to organize and manage. So if you are not in social media every day, consider deactivating this option. If you are managing an organization or business page, and not comfortable deactivating, check to see if the social media platform you use has an auto response feature that allows you to customize a message to be sent that shares options for reaching you, and when they can expect a response.

Once you have determined the communication methods that work best for you, let those you are working with know how best to reach you. And if you have a website or social media page for your organization/business make sure you take a little time updating the contact information in a way that sets expectations you know you can manage.

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